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European Member States Must Do More to Implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Apr 4th, 2016 |

According tothe  latest brief from German Development Institute the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals provides the EU with a new and positive narrative for its future development that resonates with European citizens and presents Europe as a constructive force for sustainable domestic and global development. Given the scope and universal nature of the 2030 Agenda, its implementation requires a new kind of cooperation with greater inter-departmental work and whole-of- government approaches that encompass all dimensions of EU internal and external policies.

Similar conclusions for the Netherlands were reached by the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency in its study on the implications of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for environmental policy, including the Sustainable Development Goals in the Netherlands. The report concludes that the SDGs stand as excellent building blocks for environmental policy for 2030.

Member States now have to translate the global SDGs into national targets and policies. The Netherlands already has national policy targets and policy programmes in line with the environment-related SDGs, but certain adjustments will be required including on sustainable water management. New and updated policy targets for 2030 are needed. And successful implementation calls for close coordination of policy efforts and responsibilities between various ministries and provincial and local authorities.

More broadly, linking the core ongoing European strategy processes – including the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy and the revision of the Europe 2020 Strategy – to the 2030 Agenda can help to create more coherent policies. This could also address frictions and trade-offs between individual policy fields. Progress on the SDGs in Europe and abroad will foster the success of both domestic and foreign policies.

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